10 Cloverfield Lane

— THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS —

Last night I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane – a thriller about a woman, Michelle, who awakes after a car crash to find herself in a bunker with two men, Howard and Emmett, who claim there has been a chemical attack and the outside world is no longer safe. It has a score of 7.3 on IMDB. I don’t know if you do this too but before I watch a film I always look up the IMDB rating. A 7.3 is a solid score and I’m hopeful for anything that scores above a 7. Unfortunately with 10 Cloverfield Lane I was left feeling very disappointed and that all comes down to the terrible climax of the film.

The movie kept me on my toes throughout and I was never sure what the truth was and certainly didn’t guess the ending, although I’ve no doubt a lot of people did. Who are Howard and Emmett? Are they telling the truth? Can they be trusted? Is Michelle safe?

Naturally Michelle doesn’t believe these two men when she first hears what’s supposedly happened while she’s been unconscious, and neither does the audience, but as the film progresses and after an incident with a neighbour trying to get into the bunker, Michelle starts to accept the reality with which she has been presented. Cue montages of Michelle, Emmett and Howard playing board games, doing puzzles and enjoying dinners together all while Tommy James and The Shondells I Think We’re Alone Now plays in the background.

The happy little family routine can’t last however and soon enough things turn sour again and after an impromptu crawl through the vents to reset the air purifier Michelle stumbles upon something that makes her question the stories Howard has been feeding them.

Michelle and Emmett begin making a gas mask accompanied with matching outfit as they make future plans to restrain Howard so one of them can venture outside in their hand-made outfit to check if what Howard has been telling them about the outside world is true. Unfortunately Howard finds out and things take a turn for the worse.

The pace of this film is fantastic and I was on the edge of my seat shouting at Michelle to “Run!” and “Hurry!” and whatever else you shout at fictional characters when you think they’re about to be caught. I was really enjoying this film, until the climax, when it all got a bit… weird.

Up until the final 20 minutes this movie was a pure thriller through and through. Then suddenly it seemed to switch and became an entirely different film altogether and I found myself turning to my viewing companion and asking, “What the actual fuck?” several times.

I’ve already spoilt a fair bit of this film in this review and I figure if you’re reading this then you’ve either watched the film already/have no intention of watching it/don’t care about spoilers, and yet I feel like withholding information regarding the bizarre climax as, if you haven’t watched this yet but are planning on doing so then you need to be completely surprised, as I was, when this film reaches it’s conclusion, purely so if you do have the same WTF reaction I did then I don’t want to take any of that away from you.

10 Cloverfield Lane could have had such a great ending, and I’m sure a lot of people really liked it, but I just thought it was weird. I read a review on IMDB saying how the viewer felt as though a 10 year old boy had written the climax and I think that sums up the ending perfectly. That is exactly how it felt. It felt like I’d been watching a thriller for 90 minutes and then the genre just switched and it felt so out of place that it kind of ruined the last 90 minutes and certainly ended any ideas I’d had for a re-watch. Bizarre is the only word I can use to describe this thriller/sci-fi jumble of madness.

I give 10 Cloverfield Lane a 6/10. It would have received a 7.5 had it stuck to the thriller genre that it originally presented to us. I’d love to hear other viewers opinions so please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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